Spotsylvania in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Spotsylvania Sunday School Union Parksite
~ How it came to be ~
Beginning the fifth Sunday in July 1905, 19 African American baptist churches came together at the invitation of educator John J. Wright and formed what was subsequently called the Spotsylvania Sunday School Union. They raised money over five years and used $475.50 to purchase 158.5 acres from D. F. and Cora Altenburg on January 10, 1910. On four acres of that land, they contracted to build a school, the Spotsylvania Graded School, completed in the early 1920s. The number of churches in the SSSU soon stabilized at 12 and remains so today.
In 1941, more than 30 years after their land purchase, the SSSU deeded 20 acres, including land on which the original school once stood, to the Spotsylvania School Board, leaving 138.5 acres stilled owned by the SSSU.
A beautification project was instituted in the late 1970s whereby a brick shelter and other amenities were added to the park. Contracted to build the picnic shelter was Aaron Fairchild. Sadly, he died on October 21, 1979 before he finished the building,
Once complete, the new building and improved grounds were officially dedicated on July 31, 1983. A memorial plaque in honor of those who had given exemplary service to the SSSU was also unveiled.
The park and accompanying acreage are still owned and administered by trustees of the SSSU.
(upper right) Above: Aaron Alfred Fairchild, son of Alfred and Rose Anna Lewis Fairchild, unknown date, courtesy Layton R. Fairchild, Sr.
(lower right) Below: Bennie L. Carter, son of Robert and Birdie Johnson Carter, photograph c. 1945, courtesy Gladys Carter Cook
The African American Heritage Trail is supported in part by a Preserve America grant administered by the National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. This product is based upon work assisted by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Erected 2015 by Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail.
Location. 38° 9.28′ N, 77° 35.999′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Courthouse Road (Virginia Route 208) 0.6 miles from Morris Road (County Route 606), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located at the south end of the parking lot of the John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7565 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania VA 22551, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Secondary Education for African American Children (within shouting distance of this marker); John J. Wright Parksite (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Third Spotsylvania County Courthouse Site (approx. 2.3 miles away); Penny’s Tavern Site (approx. 2.3 miles away); Batter Up: Spotsylvania Yellow Jackets (approx. 2.6 miles away); Zion Methodist Church (approx. 2.8 miles away); Asbury’s Deathplace (approx. 2.8 miles away); Education in Spotsylvania County (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania.
Also see . . . Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail. (Submitted on June 22, 2015.)
Categories. • African Americans • Churches & Religion • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 182 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 22, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.